Well, to begin with I would like to wish my readers a very happy 2019! I hope that this year treats us with kindness, and the Karmic retribution of 2018 brings some fruits and nurturing energy which we all need so badly. On our blog www.sagarworld.com/blog under the section, “Personal” and sub-heading “Shiv Sagar”, I have posted all my personal articles which I used to write on www.shivsagarblog.com regarding travel, philosophy, personal spiritual experiences, politics, etc. After reading a few of my articles I was surprised that I had written them, and got the inspiration to write more to hone my writing skills.
We are doing a lot of exciting things at Sagar World including the publishing of the biography of my grandfather, the Late Dr. Ramanand Sagar, written by my dad, Mr. Prem Sagar. Titled, “Ram Bhakt Ramanand Sagar, a biographical Tribute”; It is a heartfelt tribute from a devoted son to his father in the form of memoirs. My dad was determined to write this book one day, in spite of the reluctance of his father to disclose such personal incidences of his long life and eventful life, and planned it for many years in the form of small scribbling’s on pieces of paper, voice recordings of ramblings from his father jogging past memories when they sat down at the end of the day to have a drink or then the sheer brilliance of my dad’s memory which never ceases to amaze me. Before his departure from planet earth, “Papaji” as he was called by all, left all his notes, books, novels, poems, scribbling’s, unfinished diaries, family photographs and many other literatures to my dad. He felt he would be the only one of his sons who would do justice to it and rightly so! Amazon India has agreed to publish this book, which will be available on Kindle too. The release is set for March this year.
We are also set to release our first television program from the Sagar World banner on “Dangal Channel” shortly. The remake of our previous show, “Mahima Shani Dev Ki” on NDTV Imagine starring Daya Shankar Pandey playing the role of Shani Dev. The principal filming of the series began on 9th December, 2018 in the Sagar Studios in Vadodara. The series will telecast from 8-9 PM from Monday to Sunday daily on Dangal Channel.
Cast and Crew of Mahima Shani Dev Ki in Sagar Studio Vadodara
The process of film making is a long and tedious one and not for the faint-hearted. It requires a lot of time and patience and great skill and talent in the arenas of film making as well as in handling creative and eccentric human resources that one has to work with in the process. It is almost as though one is behaving like God and setting up an entire universe with flora and fauna, architecture of houses, rules and various human characters in it and trying to breathe life into this imaginary world. Sometimes they come alive, sometimes they are still born. That could be the reason why film-makers consider themselves not less than God and this industry is full super-egos.
The sheer logistics of managing the creative production of shoot is nothing less than organizing two weddings at the same time. If someone can get through this process, then no task in the world is difficult. For a layman what may seem from the outside as glamorous, fun and a hedonistic lifestyle is just as tricky, unpredictable and complex, requiring intense discipline and a lot of hard work. The amount of agencies that are involved in the process of film making such as Art Direction, Cinematography connected with lights, Costumes which includes make-up and hair, Casting and Acting, Computer Graphics and Post production, Music and Sound etc. with each demanding a specialization, making it impossible to learn everything in a lifetime. So each time one shoots there are new problems and thereby solutions, making the journey anything but monotonous, but sometimes the unpredictability of it can be nerve wracking. The feelings when it all comes together in video and sound is magical and that feeling doesn’t have a parallel.
This time we have tried to add some elements in the scripting which are different from the previous show. Shani has a new friend, the messenger of the Gods, Narad Muni, who is constantly talking to him from the audience point of view of the happenings in the MrityuLok (the world of death – as our earth is known in the celestial language). A bouncing pad to whom Shani explains why he is doing a certain act or influencing the mind of the character, only because Shani wishes to transform him or her, into a smarter, wiser, better and more mature human being.
He takes over the mind of Roop Singh the arrogant Senapati of Jatagpur (the imaginary ancient Indian Kingdom in which our universe is set) and makes him do the unthinkable – in order to have King Janak banish him from the Kingdom for 7 ½ years during his Saturn passing over his natal moon or Sade-Sathi. This is done by Shani to make him shed his arrogance and come out shining like a diamond. Similarly, in the second story of Badal Bijli, Shani warns Bijli, the simpleton village girl, that life cannot be only led on the basis of innocence and it is important to grow up or then face his wrath. Thus Shani takes each character on a transformational journey, in which he participates and delicately handles his portfolio of rewards and retribution based upon the inner most intentions of the character. “Don’t lie to yourself, or I will bust your world of illusion which has been created by your ego” is the message of Shani.
The second thing, which is different about this season other than the grand production qualities and superior graphics is the addition of the other grahas (literal translation from Sanskrit is to seize – since the planets seize our thoughts or insert thoughts into our mind to direct the course of our lives according to where they want to take it) like Sun, Moon, Mercury, Jupiter and Venus in Dev Lok. All of these planets have a certain relationship with Saturn who is the son of the Sun in Hindu mythology. These relationships are woven in the stories as the grahas try to undo or then support Shani in his endeavors as he balances the portfolio of justice as assigned to him by his guru, Lord Shiva, the God of destruction in pantheon of Gods and Goddesses.
The audience is ruthless and doesn’t care for the time, effort and hard work put in by people working behind the scenes. An actor becomes a hero because the best brain writes his dialogues, the best action master enacts a scene as body dupe, the camera man makes sure that everything including the actors looks beautiful, the director sensitively handles the actors tantrums and makes sure he/she gets the best performances from them, the costume designer conjures the best of accessories and color schemes – with a result we see the actor as a larger than life figure who can perform super human tasks, but there is a massive team of silent workers, that must be respected because they will never be seen on screen or spoken about. That is the mad process called Film Making! Not for the faint-hearted! So wish us luck as we go into this! Jai Shani Dev! Coming soon, a few more mythological shows from Sagar World in the pipeline. Watch this space for more.
Shani Dev – Daya Shankar Pandey
Surya Dev – Himanshu Manek
Mangal Dev – Nishant Mahim
Buddha Dev – Vihaan Goyal
Brihaspati Dev – Javed Yaveri
Shukra Dev – Varun Joshi
Chandra Dev – Praveen Shrivastav
Narad – Kush Sharma
Raja Janak Singh – Dhananjay Singh
Rani Sulochana – Monika Mishra
Rajkumari Vidya – Devanshee Vyas
Senapati Roop Singh – Rakhshit Pant
Urmila – Ambar Bedi
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